Caroline Fagerlind, Director of ABBA The Museum. Photography © Carro
1.What is your museum about and what is your work there?
ABBA The Museum is an interactive experience where you get to know the full story about ABBA, one of the largest popgroups in the world. We take our visitors behind the scenes of the show, they walk in the footsteps of the popgroup from the 60s until today.
Mix music, perform on stage and sing in the Polar Studio. I work here as the Museum Director and has been a part of the exhibition since the opening May 2013.
2.How is your museum dealing with the coronavirus crisis?
This crisis has really been devastating for us, since our museum has approxemately 80% international visitors. At the end of March we took the decision to close the museum, both due to financial reasons becasue of the lack of visitors and also because of the safety of both visitors and staff.
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Sommarspecial gå 2 för 1!🤩 Ta med en vän och upplev ABBAs historia. Vi har öppet 11:00 – 16:30 fredag – söndag hela sommaren. Se våra sommarerbjudanden och köp biljetter via länk i bion. Erbjudandet gäller t.o.m. 30/8. Varmt välkomna! ❤️ . . Summer Deal, get 2 for the price of 1!🤩 Bring a friend and experience the history if ABBA. We are open from 11am to 4:30pm on Fridays – Sundays all summer. See our summer deals and buy tickets via the link in our bio. Offer valid until 30 August. Welcome!❤️ . . #abba #abbathemuseum #walkindanceout
3.What is the impact on your digital activity? Do you have tips to share with your colleagues?
During this situation we have increased our presence on our digital platforms. We did a virtual guided tour of the museum with a Q&A at the end that got a very positive responce from all over the world.
We are using Instagram to show live sessions with curator, behind the scenes material and quiz with the purpose to keep our relationship strong and stay connected with our visitors. We also produced a digital guided tour for schools that can be streamed live. We are releasing new products in our webshop.
4.Are you preparing yourself for the reopening or you are already opened? Tell us in what way.
During the time we where closed we adjusted the museum to be a very safe envirement for both visitors and staff. We opened again the 6th of June and now we are able to keep the museum opened 4 days a week.
We are using slottimes to enter the museum with a reduced amount of tickets sold every 30 minutes. Since our museum is so interactive we give the visitors a special pen that they can use for all the touchscreens throughout the exhibition to be able to mix music, do quizes etc.
We also decided to take away the microphones in our 5th memeber stage and karaoke booths as well as our Virtual Reality Helicopter station. We are working on a safe way to use them again since this situation is far from over.
Interview by Fabio Pariante, journalist
With Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad aka Frida, the ABBA group was formed in 1972 in Stockholm (the group name comes from the first letter of their names). They were the most successful musical group in world popular music until 1982, thanks to their triumph at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Waterloo”, and with a look inspired by the English glam-rock scene.
Since 1976, in the second version of the logo, the first “B” is reversed. The Swedish group was united not only in work, but also in private life, Björn with Agnetha and Benny with Frida, but the marriages soon failed, so in 1982 ABBA broke up. There hasn’t been a reunion in over thirty years, not even when it was proposed in 2000 to reunite for a 100-concert tour for a billion dollars. On March 15, 2010 they were inducted into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”, and only in 2018 did they return to the scene with two songs, one of which is titled “I Still Have Faith In You”.
Among the other most famous songs of the group: “Mamma Mia!”, “SOS”, “Chiquitita”, “Money Money Money”, “I Have a Dream”, “Fernando”, “Super Trouper”, “Knowing Me, Knowing You”, “Voulez-Vous” and “Dancing Queen” written in 1976 by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson, and is considered by many to be ABBA’s signature song: it reached the number #1 on popular music charts in 13 countries. ABBA have sold over 400 million records worldwide and their music is still a source of inspiration for emerging and established artists today.
On April 6, 1999, the musical “Mamma Mia!” based on the group’s songs, it debuts in London at the Prince Edward Theater. In 2008, the film version of the musical was made, with actors Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan. Inaugurated in 2013, the ABBA Museum was dedicated to the group, set up in a former warehouse south of Stockholm, with the aim of remembering and making known the artistic activity of the group to the new generations with a large exhibition of memorabilia, with of costumes, instruments, prizes won and with multimedia productions.